Influence of the Number of Statewide Referenda Involving Emotionally-Charged Issues on Voter Turnout, 2006
The issue of same-sex marriage is an emotionally charged one. So is the issue of abortion. This is true to the point where it has resulted in several cases in the placement of statewide referenda on the ballot for voter approval or disapproval. This study tests the hypothesis that greater numbers of such emotionally charged referenda may increase voter turnout because they may elevate the expected gross benefits of voting by empowering “interested voters” while not significantly increasing the expected gross costs of voting. Using state-level data for all 50 states for the 2006 general election, and after allowing for a variety of economic and demographic factors, this study finds compelling evidence that the numbers of statewide referenda dealing with same-sex marriage and abortion did in fact significantly increase voter turnout. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2008
Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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